The resort itself is divided into two parts; the Jamaica side and the Lady Hamilton side, with most of the restaurants and amenities on the Lady Hamilton side. The resort is on the large side, but not so gigantic you can't walk it. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained, and we found all the staff from the front desk, to restaurants, bars and at the pools to be exceedingly friendly and always happy to answer questions.
Our villa on the Lady Hamilton side was very clean and spacious and everything we expected and more. The wall mounted flat screen TV gets all the American channels (not that we watched any TV), there was a large desk, a table with chairs and a couch and coffee table. In the bathroom, there were two large vanities (each with a sink), the oversize Jacuzzi tub was a nice feature, and the outdoor shower was very cool. The walk in closet had lots of hangers and shelves, and a safe. The room also had a decent sized patio furnished with two lounge chairs, two chairs and a table, but the best part was the incredible view of the ocean, and that we weren't more than a hundred feet from the beach. The bed was a little "springy" for my liking, but better than most of the rock hard beds you find elsewhere in the Caribbean. The mini bar was restocked daily, and if we ever wanted a little extra, a few dollars and a polite note asking for extra beer and water always did the trick.
It is true that a card key must be inserted in a slot for the power and air conditioning to turn on, and that the air conditioning will turn off if the patio door or door to the outdoor shower is left open, but we never had an issue with the air conditioning cooling the room down quickly after returning to the room at the end of the day or after sitting on the patio for an extended period of time.
The breakfast buffet is in the MoBay restaurant until 10:30 AM, and then continues in the Blue Lagoon restaurant until 11:45 AM. We preferred waiting for a later breakfast as you can eat outside at the Blue Lagoon restaurant. Though pretty much the same options every day, there was enough variety that you didn't have the eat the same stuff every morning if you didn't want to.
For lunches, Poseidon's Sunset Cove overlooking the Sunset Cove beach was good, but our favorite place for lunch was the Jerk Hut, also at Sunset Cove Beach.
When it came to dinners, as far as resorts go we were really impressed with the quality, variety and flavor of the food. We've never gone to an all inclusive resort with any expectation of having really great food, but we left here really pleased. A bit of a bonus is that the ala carte restaurants do not require reservations and are on a first come, first serve basis. For the week we were here, we never had to wait more than a couple minutes to be seated (other than at Bubba's Grill where the wait was about 45 minutes, but with a bar right there, the wait wasn't painful). Also note that men are required to wear long pants at the ala carte restaurants, but jeans are acceptable.
We only ate dinner once at the MoBay buffet and though edible, even by all inclusive buffet standards the MoBay restaurant was average at best. The Lotus Asian, Bhogali Indian, Bubba's Grill house and Italian restaurants were all really good, but our hands down favorite was the Xaymaica Creole restaurant, which was exceedingly good. The salad bar was excellent and the dishes on the menu that we tried were very flavorful. A special thank you to a young man named Ashdale who took care of us that night, as he was very charming, funny and attentive.
Wine Warning: If you are a wine snob (I'm not, but my wife is), unless you want to buy something off the wine list in a restaurant, or at inflated prices from the on-sight liquor store, there is only one type available "all inclusive"; a "Don Simon" white or red. Having pronounced nothing could be worse than the swill in Punta Cana last year, my wife has determined the wine here (white and red) "is just as bad". No problem with the other drinks though...
Beaches & Pools:
The main "infinity" pool was very nice. It was large, cleaned regularly, and had plenty of chairs both shaded and in the sun. It was nice to not have to get up at the crack of dawn to get a chair as there were always lots available (though I don't know if that would be the case going during a busy week like Christmas or Easter). Next to the pool there was beach volleyball and all kinds of activities during the if you wished to partake.
The adult only Coral pool was small, but there were plenty of chairs there, some with great views overlooking Coral Beach. While there is no wait service at this pool (or any of the pools), the bar was not too far away regardless of where you were sitting.
The resort is built on an isthmus, so there are four beaches.
The main Las Brias beach on the Lady Hamilton side of the resort is a narrow strip of semi-course sand with a breaker about 300 feet out in the water. Even with the breaker, the water was quite rough most days we were here. It's a little rocky in the water, so unless you are wearing water shoes it is not a pleasant experience. As a consequence, we only tried this beach once, and it was rare to see anyone in the water at this beach (and I can say that because our room overlooked this beach).
There was also a small area identified as Gully beach, but I'm not even sure how you could call this a beach. It was exceptionally rocky both on the shore and in the water.
Coral beach is the "adult only" beach. The beach area itself is small and at first was a bit disappointing. But for a place to soak up some sun and listen to the waves, we found ourselves coming to this beach for every day because it was quiet and sheltered from the wind, and it ended up being our favorite spot by the end of the trip. With no bar directly on the beach, you had to walk up a flight of stairs to the pool area to get a drink which wasn't overly convenient, but somehow you get used to doing that too after a couple days.
But all was not lost as far as good swimming beaches go. Easily the best beach of the bunch is the Sunset Cove beach, as it has the nicest sand (though it could be raked once in a while), the most sheltered from the wind, the calmest water for swimming, and there is no need to wear water shoes, as it is a sandy bottom in the water. As a result, this is where everyone came to swim. The only knock is that there is no bar that is actually on the beach...like the Coral beach, you need to walk up a flight of stairs and then down a pathway to Poseidon's to actually get a drink.
Perhaps a nit-picky point is the plastic cups used at the pool and beach bars have to be some of the smallest I've ever seen at a resort. After a couple days we ended up buying travel mugs in one of the gift shops just to cut down on the number of times you had to go back to the bar. The resort is serving recognizable brand names (Smirnoff vodka, Gordon's London Dry Gin, Johnny Walker Red scotch, etc.), and I have no issue with the variety or strength of drinks available, just the serving sizes.
Other than at the pools/beaches and restaurants, there were 4 other bars.
The Infinity Bar overlooking the Infinity pool, is the main bar and was a pleasant open air place to have a cappuccino in the morning or drinks in the evening, with plenty of tables and smiling, friendly servers. In the evenings there was also live music which was mostly enjoyable.
Miss Lou's next to the Infinity bar is a more intimate place where you can enjoy coffee or premium liquors, and on three nights a week there is live jazz, and was also a really enjoyable place to hang out.
The Sports Bar is the only place serving food all night so was good for getting some snack food whenever you wanted, but was probably the deadest spot on the resort just to sit and have a drink (and from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM the only booze served is Red Stripe draft beer).
The Boogie Woogie disco is open from 11:30 PM until 2:00 AM. We went one night but didn't stay long as the music wasn't really our thing. The only tip is the disco is the only place serving hard liquor past midnight, so you can go in, get your drinks, and then sit in the lobby next to the theatre.
There are nightly shows in the theatre that begin at 9:30 PM and run about an hour. The shows we saw were all dance based. This isn't Vegas, so I'm not even going to critique what I thought of the shows, but more variety from night to night would have been nice. What was really impressive is how hard the performers work. We saw them rehearsing every morning, then out working in the resort, and then after the shows mingling with guests at the Infinity bar! We left with a lot of respect for how hard these folks work.
Jamaica is a beautiful country with wonderful people. Nothing is perfect, so the above comments about small drink cup sizes or having to walk a bit to get a drink at a couple of the beaches is just nit-picky stuff you can work around. For the important stuff, there is an awful lot to like about this resort. It is a beautiful, well maintained property, and the rooms are excellent. All the staff we encountered were incredible, and the pools were just fine. As far as resorts go, we were pleasantly surprised with the food in the ala carte restaurants and with the quality of the drinks (wine not included). We had a terrific time here and would definitely consider coming back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The resort is bathed by the calm turquoise waters of Jamaica's north coast, in a small bay on a privileged enclave on the coast. The design is a perfect harmony between modernand luxurious facilities of a first class hotel and the attractive natural environment of the area characterized by the turquoise sea and the relief of the landscape. The complexalso houses an ultramodern Spa, which is equipped with the most advanced facilities and offers guests a wide variety of therapies and services. Near the village of Lucea and approximately 30 minutes from Montego Bay and its airport. Within the complex is theGrand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa has a total of 540 guestrooms in 15 villas ofthree levels with 6 Suites and 30 Junior Suites per villa. The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa has a total of 516 rooms distributed in 13 villas of three levels with 6 suites and 30 Junior Suites per villa and 48 two-story cabins with 4 cabins suites (adults only) each. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort And Spa
- Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Hotel Lucea
- Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa Jamaica/Lucea